JaVale McGee defends how Lakers’ young players handled trade rumors
One of the biggest controversies that the Los Angeles Lakers faced last season was the young core’s behavior after they were involved in trade rumors surrounding New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis. According to reports, the constant speculations about them moving to another team has impacted their play, and that’s one of the reasons why the Purple and Gold missed the playoffs.
However, veteran center JaVale McGee defended how his younger teammates reacted in that situation. He was recently a guest on Fox Sports’ The Undisputed, where he said that it is always hard for a player who’s never been in trade rumors to be involved in one, which is exactly what happened to Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Lonzo Ball.
JaVale discussed the trade deadline on Undisputed today, and he defended how the young guys handled it pic.twitter.com/DukD3ZUySp
— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) June 5, 2019
When news broke out that Davis has requested a trade from the Pelicans, only the Lakers tried to negotiate with them before February’s trade deadline. The latter offered two different trade packages that involved at least six players and two picks. In both offers, Ingram, Kuzma, and Ball were included. It obviously had an impact on the Lakers’ chemistry as it was obvious in some of their losses that the young core weren’t their usual selves.
However, Ingram and Kuzma had some stretches where they’ve shown flashes of star potential before being shut down for the final weeks of the regular season.
McGee understands how tough things can be for an NBA player. He’s been involved in trade rumors for almost his entire career, so he understood how his teammates felt when they were the ones being included in trade talks. In fact, the Lakers’ youngsters might not be with the team next season, so for him, it’s normal for guys to feel bad and get distracted in those types of situations, but once they get used to it, they will be able to just shrug it off.